By P. Sreekumaran
A firm resolve to forge a broad front of left, secular and democratic forces to take on the fascist forces led by the BJP-RSS combine; a concerted effort to strengthen the party’s organizational muscle and a welcome move to induct a younger brand of leadership at the top level. These are the significant takeaways from the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of India(CPI), which concluded at Kollam in Kerala on Sunday.
Significantly, the political resolution adopted by the Congress has decided not to separately mention the Congress though some delegates wanted the prospects of a new electoral alliance to be read as the one with secular democratic forces, including the Congress. This suggestion was, however, dropped. The decision was that poll alliances could be state-specific. The parmount need is to maximize the mobilization of anti-BJP votes and avoid a division of opposition votes.
It may be mentioned that the CP:I was the first left party to propose a common platform of left, secular and democratic forces to counter the communal forces at the national level. It is a matter of pride for the CPI that the CP:I(M) has, after much humming and hawing, found merit in the CPI’s political line as exemplified by the success of the Sitaram Yechury political line at the CPI(M) Congress held in Hyderabad. That the CPI(M) party congress changed its original political draft which forbade any understanding with the Congress party at all, goes to the credit of the CPI.
A measure of the CPI’s newfound confidence can be gauged from the declaration by S Sudhakar Reddy, who has been re-elected as the general secretary for a third term that, if need be, the party won’t shy away from voting for Congress candidates in constituencies where candidates of the left and secular forces are not in the fray.
“We are for a general understanding among all secular and democratic forces and that includes the Congress. The Congress is a secular party though they do not aggressively pursue secular principles all the time. There are also other parties such as the NCP, SP, RJD and the JD(S). We are not for an alliance with the Congress but an understanding is different.” Thus declared Sudhakar Reddy.
As part of its efforts to pep up the party, the CPI Congress has decided to ‘populate’ the party leadership with youngsters. It is a welcome move which has come not a day too soon. Among the youngsters who have made it to the top are JNU student leader Kanhaia Kumar, Viswajeet Kumar and R Thirumalai.
Even as the CPI is savouring the moment, the euphoria must be tempered by the fact that the task ahead and the challenges to be confronted in realizing the objective of a broad common platform against the BJP are daunting indeed.
The Congress has rightly acknowledged the need to strengthen the party’s organisational structure in various states as an essential pre-requisite.
As far as the Kerala unit – its strongest unit – of the party is concerned, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran has emerged stronger post Congress. As many as five of his supporters have made it to the National Council.
Factionalism has all but become a thing of the past, a few dissenters having been shown the door. KE Ismail, a known Kanam baiter, has been retained to avoid criticism of being hostile to the minorities.
The challenges ahead are formidable indeed. The CPI has to ensure that the momentum generated by the success of both the CPI(M) and the CPI Congresses is not lost. The CPI has a big role to play to realize the dream of forging a broad ati-BJP front ruling the country. As senior leader Binoy Biswam rightly pointed out, the CPI’s presence could be minimal in certain regions, but the party certainly has a national presence. And a national duty to perform so that future generations are spared the tyranny and rigours of a fascist dispensation led by the BJP-RSS combination. (IPA Service)